German ambassador summoned to embassy in Moscow over leak

Germany’s ambassador in Moscow was summoned to Russia’s foreign ministry Monday following the leak of an audio recording by Russian state media purporting to show German officers discussing support for Ukraine, including the potential use of Taurus missiles.

A video released by a Russian state news outlet showed German Ambassador Alexander Graf Lambsdorff entering the Russian Foreign Ministry building in Moscow surrounded by a crowd of journalists.

Margarita Simonyan, chief editor of Russian state-funded TV channel RT, posted the leaked audio on social media on Friday, the same day that late opposition politician Alexei Navalny was laid to rest after his still-unexplained death two weeks ago in an Arctic penal colony.

In the 38-minute recording, military officers can be heard discussing how Taurus long-range cruise missiles could be used by Kyiv against invading Russian forces.

It comes as Germany continues to debate whether to supply the missiles to Ukraine as Kyiv faces battlefield setbacks, and while military aid from the United States is held up in Congress.

German authorities on Saturday said they were investigating the recording.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was in Rome on Saturday, called it a “very serious matter” and said that German authorities were working to clarify the matter “very carefully, very intensively and very quickly.”

His comments were carried by Germany’s DPA news agency.

Germany is now the second-biggest supplier of military aid to Ukraine after the United States and is further stepping up its support this year.

But Scholz has stalled for months on Ukraine’s desire for Taurus missiles, which have a range of up to 500 kilometres and could in theory be used against targets far into Russian territory.

AdvertisementThe new Emirates Premium Economy has arrived on the latest Emirates A380 Emirates Get the best value from your summer holiday with exclusive offers and discounts across Dubai and the UAE with Emirates Pass